AKKUraatd visited the Faculty of Science for its round around the campus on Thursday the 27th of February 2019. Several members of AKKUraatd have been talking to students during a busy lunch break just before carnival. The students of all kind of studies have given input about matters of discussion going on at this faculty.
The subject Brightspace has been mentioned many times by students. Information science is one of the main subjects at this faculty, which makes it remarkable that students are not satisfied about the information on Brightspace. The medium is lacking a clear overview and structure, namely pages of different courses differ from each other.
Furthermore, ‘pressure’ was a frequent mentioned topic by students: in general, most students are positive, nevertheless, there is certainly still room for improvement. The course ‘thermodynamics (1)’ does not reach the desired level in the opinion of some students. Furthermore, students think there is too much pressure during tutorials and some obliged assignments are way too big and they take a lot of time. Students think that there is too much pressure regarding the courses ‘microbiology’ and ‘astrophysics’. Students worry about the last period which is nearly there, because the exam period is intense: the retakes are within two weeks after the exams, which lead to more pressure, now, but mostly during the exams. Because of that students want the weeks off to be free (which means no deadlines or a midterm of the math course when you are studying chemistry), so they can focus on their exams and increase their chance for a summer holiday. One positive note students are happy with the grading period, while students of other faculties complain about the long period they need to wait for their grades, at this faculty students do get their grades within a short time.
There has been a discussion about the recording of lectures. Some students want all lectures to be recorded, while the fact that lectures are not recorded motivates other students to be physically at the lectures. Concluding, it would be nice if more lectures will be recorded, but it makes sense that small courses are not recorded. The quality of the camera needs to be sufficient, this is an important thing to take into account, because students need to be able to reed the notes on the blackboard while watching the video.
Many students said they want more workstations and they want bigger lecture halls. The lecture halls are crowded which is repellent in the opinion of many students (at the study Physics), mostly at the beginning of the academic year. If you do find a place to study, it does not mean this place is comfortable, because the temperatures in the library of science fluctuate. In general students think that it is too cold, during summertime you might even bring a sweater to prevent getting cold. Students not only experience the cold in lecture halls, but sometimes even on the toilets!
International students asked for microwaves many times. The prefer their own food which is more tasteful and cheaper than the food you can buy at university. The university might put some microwaves in the Huygens building and also create a more pleasant temperature.
Moreover, international students asked for ‘international tuition fees’, especially for students coming from outside Europe, to make life easier and more comfortable. An international study is not always as international as one might expect, because teachers sometimes prescribe Dutch literature for international courses. This is remarkable, because they claim the programme to be accessible for international students. Several obliged
bachelor courses for international (master) students are still in Dutch. The same applies to diagnostic exams.
A master student mathematic physics has lectures which are only available either in Amsterdam, Utrecht or Nijmegen. He needs to travel between those cities which sometimes means he spends more time travelling than studying. It is even worse to travel that much if you do not have a student travel product (anymore).
Students suggest that it might be nice if there would be visits to department at this multifaceted faculty, with many research facilities and beautiful locations. In that way students get to know more about the practise and it might be inspiration for an internship or the choose for a master program. Activities of study associations goes along with this.
Members of AKKUraatd noticed that there were only a few places to recycle rubbish.
Lastly there was also some criticism about the overflowing bicycle garage. For instance, old bicycle could be removed, so students do not need to walk around in the garage for ten minutes to find a place to park their bicycles. A student suggested to put some flowers at the entrance of the building to have a nice and inspiring start of the day.